CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2008
 21 February 2008

21 February 2008

Speaker: Carey M. Lisse (John Hopkins University)

Title:Dusty Disks and Comets : Clues to the Formation and Evolution of the Solar System

Abstract:With the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) we are for the first time beginning to understand the details of how the composition and formation of our own Solar System compare to those of other stars in our Galaxy. This is a major question in astronomy, and recent, detailed observations by SST of comets (remnants of the solar systems proto-stellar nebula), proto- planetary disks around young stellar objects (YSOs), and debris disks around moderate-age stars have given us a collection of detailed spectra containing clues about our Galactic context. In this talk I will discuss these observations, which are comprised mainly of mid-infrared (5 to 40 micron) spectroscopy of dust grains and gas. Using the results from the recent Deep Impact and STARDUST space missions, we can now constrain the relative abundances of silicates, carbonates, water ice, amorphous carbon, sulfides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in these environments. I will discuss the similarities and differences in the spectra, and their implications to larger questions of our Solar System's origins.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )


Section Photo